April 2 street date. Vinyl is limited to 1,000 copies worldwide, includes coupon for download. Formed in December of 2011, Barren Girls hail from the tight-knit Raleigh, NC, punk scene. Hell Hymns is a collection of four succinct songs that tackle paranoia, heartbreak and other personal issues through the lens of gritty, rowdy garage rock. Carla Wolff (vocals, guitar) wanted to start an all-girl punk group, so she connected with former bandmate Ash Van Eijk (drums) and friend Jenny Williams (keyboards), who had never taken up an instrument before. They played together as a trio for three months until Fran Araya joined on bass to complete the line-up. A scorching performance at the Hopscotch Festival in September brought them to the attention of Merge, and with a 4-track and their friend William G. Evans of Aleph Audio, the girls recorded this four-song EP in their cotton mill practice space. 'She-Devil' is the longest song they play at almost three minutes, while 'Alter Ego', 'Deal With the Devil' and 'How Could You' represent the faster raw punk energy people have come to expect from their live performances.
Merge Records was started in the summer of 1989, by Laura Ballance & Mac McCaughan, the same summer they formed the band Superchunk in Chapel Hill, NC. The first couple releases were cassettes (remember those?), by WWAX and Bricks, followed by the first Superchunk (then known only as "Chunk") 7" single. The vinyl 7" was the format of choice for the first 3 years of the label, with cash borrowed from friends to finance projects (including singles from Erectus Monotone, Angels of Epistemology, and more Superchunk) and bedrooms serving as Merge HQ until 1992, when the first Merge full-length release, Tossing Seeds by Superchunk, was released on CD, LP, and cassette. With this release Merge also forged a relationship with Touch and Go Records of Chicago, who have done an admirable job manufacturing and distributing the bulk of Merge's full-length releases since then. Since '92 Merge moved from one charming-yet-run-down office to another until 2001, when we finally made the move from Chapel Hill down the road to a fine old building all our own in historic Downtown Durham, NC. In 2004 Merge Records is celebrating its 15th birthday, and while our roster has changed, rotated, permutated and expanded over the last 15 years, the quality we look for in records as fans is still there in the music we put out on Merge. Thanks for listening!